Sunday, April 2, 2017

2nd and Final Month of Phase #2

April is the month I engage in three major self-improvement projects, as part of the final stretch of Phase Two of my self-betterment itinerary. Phase Two of my self-betterment itinerary will draw to a close at the end of this month; by that time I will have not only quit drinking and smoking but also vaping, and the first changes to my lifestyle will have been initiated.

I’ve already started changing my diet for the better, though in an as yet paltry way because I my surplus funds don’t become available until toward the end of the month — after the next month’s rent and bills are paid, of course. I still eat a bunch of ramen and canned crap, but I’m starting to make my own hummus (it only costs about $2 to make about 22 ounces!), add healthy vegetables like garlic and chiles and mushrooms to my pre-fab Godawful to render the stuff actual sustenance, and eat granola for breakfast. My end goal is to decrease my caloric intake to just below the supposed ideal, rely more on vegetable than animal sources for protein, eliminate processed and simple carbohydrates from my diet, and drink nothing but teas and home-fermented brews in addition to water. Not that I’m about to go all over the top health nut: bacon and cheese are two of my four(?) pillars of flavor! Exercise is also going to be introduced into my daily routine, at least as soon as I groundscore or can afford to buy a rug; I’ve heard good things about Pilates, and there’s an app on my Google Play wish list that instructs in short intensive work-outs I plan on trying out.

Meditation is another thing I’m going to be starting … as soon as I finalize a weekly schedule where I can logically fit this in. The problem with this is that ideally both exercise and meditation are done early, before the day has a chance to darken one’s inner horizons; but canning’s the first thing I do after rolling out of bed and stuffing some hummus on toast, my pills, and a cup of strong black tea down my throat. The early bird catches the worm, and dawn occurs about 1.5 minutes earlier every day until June 21, so I’ll probably have to do both after my morning gold rush, at least if I’m to avoid getting out of bed at 5:00 AM or earlier! I’ve flirted with meditation a few times before, but honestly it’s something I’ll have to twist my arm to stick with, perhaps because I have a more restless mind than most, that easily loses interest. All the more reason to bridle the tiger, to paraphrase an oft-quoted set of parables Buddhists and Taoists have historically used to describe the cantankerous relationship between a largely subconscious-driven psyche of meandering depths and volatile energy and the ego with its crystalline lattice of superficial will and purpose.

The biggest adjustment may prove to be returning to school. I call it school, but it’s nothing more than teaching myself Android development. It will feel like going back to school, though, because I plan on making it a scheduled recurring event that follows a lesson plan and involves studying and homework. Also, because it’s programming, I’ll need to do a lot of reading up on fundamentals, such as clean coding conventions, effective use of tables and flowcharts and pseudocode to draft software designs, an understanding of algorithms and familiarity with commonly used ones, and the whole technical language featuring things such as classes and objects and parameters and fluency in use of their underlying concepts. Essentially, 100-level computer science and 200-level Java, probably totaling in material and effort required to the equivalent to taking five or six credit-hours at the local community college … only not at all. Conceivably, I could actually garner a small ancillary income from selling apps, though so far I’ve only thought up one to seriously pursue development. Whatever, coding can be tedious fun when it yields pleasing results, just like gardens.

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